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Cleaning Your Belongings After a Fire

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cleaning Your Belongings After a Fire Cleaning Belongings after a fire can require a lot of work.

After a fire damages your Carpentersville, IL, home, facing the task of cleaning your belongings can be a challenge. Your clothing, furniture, carpeting and other items might have all suffered smoke and soot damage that can be difficult to remove on your own. However, there are some steps you can take to restore them, from sorting restorable belongings to having a fire remediation and restoration company use dry cleaning techniques and other industrial machinery to salvage as many possessions as possible after a blaze.

3 Steps to clean up your belongings after a fire.

  1. Gauge What Might Be Saved

Once fire officials have let you know it is safe to re-enter your home, the first step you may want to take is sorting through smoke-damaged items and finding those that could still be salvaged. Most non-porous items, such as metal kitchen items and certain types of building materials can be wiped clean or sanitized in boiling water. 

  1. Sort Out Saved Items

Once you find items you wish to salvage, sort them into piles so the company that handles your content cleaning does not have to work with one large pile of different belongings. This can also make the process more efficient. If any of the items have both smoke and water damage, keep these separate and ask your restoration company if they will require a different restoration process. 

  1. Note Building Cleaning Requirements

While restoration specialists can use dry cleaning machines on your clothing and other items, cleaning soot and smoke from your walls, ceiling and carpeting may be more of a challenge. As you note which rooms have sustained such damage, you can work with your fire damage techs and discuss whether you will require content storage for your cleaned items while stationery sections of your home are cleaned with industrial foggers and air sanitizing machines. 

Cleaning items after a fire affects your Carpentersville, IL, home does not have to be an insurmountable task. From sorting your items efficiently to reaching out to a professional restoration company for dry cleaning and air purification services, there are several steps you can take to reclaim your property from the ravages of fire. 

Eliminating Storm Wind Damage

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Eliminating  Storm Wind Damage Storm Damage in Illinois

One of the biggest dangers during a driving storm in Carpentersville, IL, can be flying debris. Whether it is a thunderstorm, tornado, hurricane, or gale force winds, the airborne fragments can seriously damage buildings, animals, and people. Your property can sustain damage as the storm rips off siding, shingles, and doors. And far flung debris can crash through windows and puncture outbuildings. Add rain or melting snow to the mix and a roof leak can develop in no time.

Cleaning up after suffering storm damage.

Preventative Steps

Evaluating possible problems and correcting them can limit the amount of damage your building incurs. Check the roof for torn or missing shingles and replace if necessary. This can prevent additional damage to the roofing fabric and a potential roof leak. 

Windows and doors can be vulnerable access points for vicious storms. Covering windows with plywood or shutters can often save the panes from breaking and prevent additional water damage.

Assess Properties

Commercial buildings often have outdoor areas with seating, chairs, and trash receptacles. Any of these can turn into deadly projectiles if hurled against the building. If the items cannot be moved indoors, consider anchoring them with straps and cables, or bolting each permanently to the ground. 

Trees that are too close to the building or power lines can also be a danger during torrential storms. Not only can the trees fall and cause a damaged roof, but the limbs can break and become missiles. To prevent this, have the trees trimmed away from utility lines and buildings to prevent damage to the structure. If the main body of the tree is taller than the building and close enough to fall, consider having it removed.

Quick Cleanup

No matter how prepared you are, storm damage such as a roof leak can still occur after an unpleasant storm. At the first sign of water damage, contact a storm cleanup and restoration team to assess the property loss. The team can respond immediately and help keep your building open and your business running.

What to Do About Smoke Odor Damage After a Fire

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What to Do About Smoke Odor Damage After a Fire After smoke or fire damage ceiling, walls, carpets, and floors will need a thorough cleaning

How to Minimize Fire Damage Before Help Arrives

If your business in East Dundee, IL, has been struck by a fire, it may be damaged in many different ways. Aside from structural damage, damage from smoke odor may also be present and can severely harm your commercial building. If an odor from residual smoke has spread throughout your building, it’s crucial to schedule a smoke cleaning with a professional. Here are some simple steps you can take to minimize the damage before help arrives.

Clean HVAC System

If you allow smoke particles to linger in your HVAC system, they can continue to affect the air quality of your building. Be sure to do the following as soon as possible to remove any residual smoke from your ventilation system:

  • Replace air conditioning filters
  • Have HVAC system inspected
  • Contact a professional to clean out air ducts

It’s vital to take action immediately if you suspect smoke damage in your business. Failing to address lingering smoke can cause it to further permeate the air and harm your commercial building.

Remove Damaged Objects

All items in your building that have been damaged by smoke must be removed from the affected area right away. This may include any window screens, cushions or rugs that are found around your building. Anything that can be washed must be washed as quickly as possible in order to free it of smoke odor. However, a professional smoke cleaning should be conducted if furniture items such as desks and couches have been damaged.

Clean Carpets

Removing smoke from carpets is a difficult step as the particles can become embedded in the material. To alleviate the odor, try cleaning your carpets with baking soda and then let it sit for a few hours. You can also choose to steam clean the carpeting, although this should be done with care. It’s best to avoid damaging any aspects of your building if possible.

When your commercial building in  East Dundee, IL, is affected by smoke damage, taking immediate action is vital. Contact professional restoration services for a smoke cleaning and have your business restored in no time.

3 Ways To Mitigate Water Damage

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Ways To Mitigate Water Damage SERVPRO has the tools and equipment to check for related damage and restore the property

Water Damaged Restoration Professionals Recommended

For a business in Sleepy Hollow,IL, the possibility of having to conduct a pipe burst cleanup, can seem daunting. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to mitigate potential water damage before the problem even occurs. Here are a few many water damaged restoration professionals recommend.

1.Regularly Inspect the Plumbing

One way to protect your business property against water damage is too regularly inspect for any potential problems. This may include looking for potential supply line leaking, pooling under windows, puddling in basement areas, proper drainage, checking pipe joints, and other potential problems. It's recommended to schedule a professional to go through this process regularly.

2. Have a Professional Conduct Repairs

In the event the property does experience water damage and a pipe burst cleanup is necessary, it may be best to contact a professional to conduct any repairs. A water damage restoration service such as SERVPRO has the tools and equipment, as well as knowledge, to check for related damage and restore the property back to working order. They may also be able to help ensure that no mold growth is found, and advise as to any mitigation steps you may want to take.

3. Start Mitigation Early

Preventing a water cleanup can start before you even think the property may have problems. Some easy steps include ensuring that there are proper gutter and drain spouts to catch storm water runoff from the roof and direct it away from the building, checking that landscaping is sloped away from the building to avoid pooling water around the foundation, and that any gutters and drainage ditches are kept clear of debris to prevent overflow.
There are some easy mitigation steps you can take before water damage even become the problem. Remember to regularly inspect your plumbing, and if you to experience problems talk to a professional about any pipe burst cleanup needs you may have.

Tips for Replacing Your Bathroom Supply Line

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Tips for Replacing Your Bathroom Supply Line Water accumulating beneath a toilet

A bathroom water supply line is a resource you take advantage of everyday in Barrington Hills,IL. Although it is out of sight, it should not be out of mind. If you notice a bathroom leak, this may be the culprit. Regardless, you should be changing your supply line about once every ten years.

Is It Time?

The rule of thumb is to replace your supply line once a decade, but it’s easy to lose track. You may have also moved into an older home and be unaware of how long it’s been since the last replacement. In these types of cases, a good place to start is determining if you have supply line damage. The following may give you a clue:

  • A damp spot in the ceiling below your bathroom
  • Water accumulating beneath your sink or toilet
  • Loss of pressure in faucet

Are You Under Warranty?

If you determine you have supply line damage or that it’s time to replace it, the first step is to find out if it is still under warranty. This could save you a lot of time and money. Different types of supply lines hold different warranties- plastic lines have 5-8 years while steel braided lines have a lifetime warranty.

Who Do You Call?

This type of issue is a big job, so to be safe you should probably call a professional supply line leak service to inspect and replace the pipe; you wouldn’t want to cause more damage to your bathroom. Specialists will know exactly where all the connections are, what parts to use and how tight the connections should be. If done properly your new supply line will last into the next decade.

Supply line damage can be dangerous if left alone for too long, so be the best homeowner you can be by staying on top of it. Avoid mold and structural damage by replacing it when appropriate.

Build Your First Aid Kit According to OSHA Standards

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Build Your First Aid Kit According to OSHA Standards It's important to have a First Aid Kit in your business.

When creating a first aid kit for your business, you should always keep in mind that you’re required to adhere to specific standards to keep your emergency supplies up to code. To ensure your kit adheres to OSHA’s current requirements, you’ll need to take several issues into consideration:

  • The contents of your emergency kit
  • The number of employees you have in a space
  • The number of different business functions occurring in a single building

Taking these details into consideration allows you to identify which products and how many kits you need in total to keep your workplace safe on a day-to-day basis.

First Aid Kits

What Goes in a Kit?

To have a complete first aid kit for your West Dundee, IL, business, you’ll need to include:

  1. A number of gauze pads measuring at least 4x4”
  2. 2 larger gauze pads measuring 8x10”
  3. A box of adhesive bandages
  4. A package of 2”-wide gauze rollers bandages
  5. 2 triangular bandages
  6. Sealed moist towelettes or another wound-cleaning agent
  7. Scissors
  8. A minimum of 1 blanket
  9. Tweezers
  10. Adhesive tape
  11. Latex gloves (and a recommended latex alternative in case of allergies)
  12. Resuscitation equipment like a pocket mask
  13. A pair of elastic wraps
  14. A splint
  15. Directions for contacting emergency services in your area

How Many Kits Do You Need?

Each kit is designed to cover two to three people, meaning you’ll need to have more kits the more employees you have on the job at a time. Furthermore, you’ll need at least one kit for each individual operation taking place at your particular place of business, or at least increase the quantities of the supplies in each kit to reflect the number of employees and operations on hand.

Assembling a proper first aid kit should be one of your top priorities when it comes to taking care of your employees’ needs on the job. Consult OSHA’s official guide on the matter for a great place to start when putting together your emergency kits.

4 Reasons Mold Might Come Back After Removal

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 4 Reasons Mold Might Come Back After Removal Mold due to leaking pipe

4 Reasons Mold Might Come Back After Removal

For many homeowners, mold growth is a common, and sometimes frustrating, problem. This stubborn fungus can keep showing up even after you thought you’d gotten rid of it. If you are having an issue with black mold, consider the following reasons why it might keep returning.

1. Mold is Present in Most Environments

Something you might not realize about mold is that it exists in many environments. However, this is usually no cause for concern. While mold may be present in your West Dundee,IL  home, most varieties are not harmful, though it’s near-constant presence can make it difficult to get rid of.

2. Your Home Has High Levels of Humidity

Black mold thrives in moist environments. If your home is humid, this makes it easier for the fungus to spread. Using exhaust fans or opening windows can sometimes help reduce levels of humidity. If this does not work, you might consider investing in a dehumidifier.

3. You Are Not Allowing Areas to Dry Thoroughly

Another thing that can contribute to black mold growth is not allowing certain areas to dry completely after use. Using a towel to dry sinks and showers instead of letting them air dry can help reduce this problem. You should also be sure to have any leaks fixed right away.

4. The Area Has Not Been Properly Cleaned

After doing mold cleanup in an area, the problem may not permanently go away. You should maintain these areas by cleaning them regularly to prevent the growth from returning.

If you have a long-term problem with mold that you can’t seem to resolve on your own, then enlisting the help of a mold remediation service may be the best solution. They will have the experience to locate any mold growth in your home as well as the tools to properly remove it. Once the mold has been removed, be sure to maintain your home to reduce the chances of another infestation.

3 Important Smoke Alarm Facts

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Important Smoke Alarm Facts Test your alarms at least once a month to ensure they are working properly

3 Important Smoke Alarm Facts

A smoke alarm is a very important device that should be part of every building. Taking proper care of the alarm in your Gilberts, IL  home will ensure that it is working in the event of a fire. Knowing the answers to the following questions can help you keep your home safe.

1. What Kind of Alarms Can You Use in Your Home?

If you are installing a smoke detector, there are a few different options that you can choose from. The two types of alarms that you will be able to purchase for your home are photoelectric and ionization. Because the type of fire each of these detects is different, having both in your home is a good idea. You can also find some alarms that use both types of sensors. For those with hearing loss, alarms that vibrate and flash lights are available as well.

2. How Often Should You Replace the Batteries?

How often your batteries will need to be replaced depends on your particular smoke alarm. Some detectors use disposable nine-volt battery that will need to be changed at least once a year. Others use a long-lasting lithium battery that will last the life of your device and will not need to be replaced at all. If your alarm is hardwired into your home’s electrical system, the back-up battery should be treated similarly to those in a battery-powered alarm.

3. How Often Should You Replace the Alarm?

Over time, your smoke detector will become less effective and more likely to fail. In order to ensure the safety of yourself and your family, you should replace your alarm regularly. The life of your device may vary so you should always check the user’s manual, but many will last around ten years.

While a smoke alarm can alert you to danger, it cannot prevent fire damage. An emergency restoration service can help get your home back to its previous condition if you have experienced a fire. Be sure to test your alarms at least once a month to ensure they are working properly.

Storm Damage: Is It Tax Deductible?

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Damage: Is It Tax Deductible? Go to fema.gov page to see if your business was affected in a nationally declared disaster area

Storm Damage: Is It Tax Deductible?

Did you know that your Carpentersville,IL, business’s storm damage expenses may be tax deductible? If you filed an insurance claim and the damage was not covered by your commercial policy, it is very likely that you can deduct related expenses from your taxes. Here is the process that you should follow to maximize your deductions.

1. Find out if you are in a disaster area. Go to fema.gov or browse IRS’s Tax Relief in Disaster Situations page to see if your business was affected in a nationally declared disaster area. There may be different, more generous tax rules that apply - some filers even get extensions in this type of circumstance.

2. Calculate your deduction. If you need to, find an online tool or calculator that can help you figure out what your deduction amount should be for nonbusiness storm damage at your commercial building, such as your personal vehicle that was destroyed.

3. Read tax publications. Specifically, you will want to use IRS Publication 547, which deals with disasters, casualties and thefts, to make sure that you are following proper procedures when filing your business taxes and deducting damage expenses.

4. Figure out your next steps. If you want to write off nonbusiness damage that occurred on your property during a storm, you will have to itemize your deductions. You will need to utilize IRS Form 4683 and Schedule A, as well as the specific instructions that go along with these tax papers. If you are simply deducting commercial losses, itemization will not be necessary.

If you need help dealing with your company’s upsetting damage in addition to your taxes, a local commercial storm damage company should be able to help. Whether you need cleanup, document drying or more detailed restoration, such a business can help you get yourself, your team and your commercial building back to normal.

When Does Mold Growth Follow Flooding?

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When Does Mold Growth Follow Flooding? Call SERVPRO of East & West Dundee/SW Barrington Hills for your flooding.

If flooding has recently affected your home in Sleepy Hollow, IL, you are likely to be concerned about the effects of water damage and mold growth. Fungus may develop within just 24 to 48 hours of primary damage. Restoration experts classify flood water as highly contaminated Category Three black water because it may contain solid waste in addition to bacteria, chemicals and other dangerous debris. Learn more about mitigation measures to limit primary storm or water damage and prevent mold.

The First Two Days

The most important mitigation measures should be taken within the first 24 to 48 hours after flooding occurs. If you have remained at home during a flood, contact a mitigation and restoration service as soon as possible. If you have evacuated, schedule a consultation immediately after returning to a damaged residence. It is ideal to have trained professionals take the following steps within the first two days:

  •  Assess damage
  •  Extract standing water
  •  Tear out damaged materials
  •  Clean and disinfect

These measures can limit primary damage and discourage mold growth. Porous materials such as carpet, drywall and insulation are difficult to disinfect and may pose an elevated mold risk. These materials should be torn out and the affected area cleaned, disinfected and permitted to dry prior to restoration.

The Week After Flooding

In the event of an evacuation, damage may be left standing for longer than 24 to 48 hours. It is important to take the measures listed above as soon as possible to limit damage. Over the next few days, the affected area should be dried. Storm damage mitigation professionals may recommend using air movers, fans or dehumidifiers.

Ideally, mitigation will commence within 24 to 48 hours of water damage. It is crucial to remove standing water as quickly as possible. Maintaining low residual moisture levels afterward can prevent mold growth at a residence in Sleepy Hollow, IL.